Pheffer Amato, Addabbo, Ulrich: Ensure Child Safety Now

At “dangerous, busy” crosswalk, urge DOT to “think back-to-school” Pheffer Amato, Addabbo push for legislation boosting crossing guards

Today, August 21st, NYS Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach), NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Ozone Park) and NYC Councilmember Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) held a press conference at the intersection of Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 102nd Streets in Rockaway Beach, Queens. The three elected officials, who jointly represent what they say is a “poorly-marked, poorly-organized intersection that hundreds of students walk across every day,” were joined by students and parents from the schools, who need the intersection to be made “ready for school, which starts in two weeks.”

The officials, students and parents highlighted the need for adequate signage, properly painted crosswalks, directional signals to improve the flow of traffic, and expanded crossing guard coverage. Pheffer Amato and Addabbo also talked about a bill they introduced this past year and intend to rally support for this year, which, if passed, would bring crossing guard levels in the blocks around high schools up to the expanded level already provided for streets around K – 8 schools.

“School’s in in two weeks, and hundreds of students walk through this intersection every day,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato. “The DOT needs to make simple adjustments, like repainting crosswalks and installing proper signs and lights. There are eight schools, including five high schools, within a two-block radius of here. We’re standing up together, today, to call attention to a particularly bad intersection, with a particularly high demand, which the DOT should prioritize. We’re also requesting that the NYPD add crossing guards to this particular school zone. On a citywide and statewide basis, myself and Senator Addabbo have introduced a bill in the legislature to mandate that students are guarded, no matter their age.”

“During the academic year, the lives of well over one million City children hang in the balance as students travel back and forth to school on local streets. Sadly, in recent years, a number of innocent children were struck and killed on their way to or from class, and we need to take all steps necessary to prevent similar tragedies,” said NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., a long-time member of the Senate Education Committee. “The safety of our children must be paramount, which is why Stacey and I are advocating for state legislation to increase the number of school crossing guards near all of our City schools. This measure would not only increase the safety of our children, but would increase credible job opportunities.”

“Ensuring the safety of our students – and all pedestrians – is a top priority. There are far too many dangerous intersections near our schools that lack adequate signage, properly painted crosswalks and crossing guard coverage,” Councilman Ulrich said. “I would like to thank my friend, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, for bringing community leaders together to shed light on this very important issue. It is our hope that the NYPD and DOT hear our concerns and work together to make our streets safer.”